Cady Huffman, Robert Petkoff and Tom Nelis Star in Prospect Theater Company's DEATH BY DESIGN Today

Cady Huffman, Robert Petkoff and Tom Nelis Star in Prospect Theater Company's DEATH BY DESIGN Today

Prospect Theater Company will present a staged reading of Rob Urbinati's original play Death By Design, a witty and wonderfully mysterious whodunit inspired by Noel Coward and Agatha Christie, today, December 8, 2012 at 2:15pm. 

The announcement was made today by Prospect Theater Company Producing Artistic Director Cara Reichel and Managing Director Melissa Huber.

The cast of Death By Design will include Tony Award winner Cady Huffman (Cole Porter's NYMPH ERRANTThe Producers, Steel Pier), Robert Petkoff(Ragtime, Anything Goes), Jennifer Blood (Cole Porter's NYMPH ERRANT), Rachel de Benedet (Catch Me If You Can, The Addams Family, Nine),Jason Collins (Once Upon a Time in New Jersey), Tom Nelis (Enron, The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, Aida), Adam Overett (The Light in the Piazza, Dirty Dancing) and Robby Sharpe (Iron Curtain, The Pursuit of Persephone). 

Prospect Theater Company previously produced Urbinati's new adaptation of Cole Porter's NYMPH ERRANT and, in 2007, another of his mystery plays,West Moon StreetDeath By Design will be directed by Will Pomerantz, who directed the Prospect production of Cole Porter's NYMPH ERRANT.

What happens when you mix the brilliant wit of Noel Coward with the intricate plotting of Agatha Christie?  Set during a weekend in an English country manor in 1932, Death by Design is a delightful and mysterious mash-up of two of the greatest English writers of all time. Edward Bennett, a playwright, and his wife Sorel Bennett, an actress, flee London and head to Cookham after a disastrous opening night. But various guests arrive unexpectedly – a conservative politician, a fiery socialist, a nearsighted ingenue, a zany modern dancer – each with a long-held secret. When one of the guests is murdered, it's left to Bridgit, the feisty Irish maid with a macabre interest in homicide, to solve the crime. Death by Design is more than homage – it's a new classic.

Rob Urbinati wrote the new adaptation of Cole Porter's NYMPH ERRANT produced by Prospect Theater Company. His plays include Hazelwood Jr. Highat The New Group, published by Samuel French; West Moon Street produced by Prospect Theater Company in 2007 and at theatres across the United States, Canada, and England, published by Samuel French; Howard Zinn's Rebel Voices for Culture ProjectCruel & Barbarous Treatment at Gloucester Stage Company; Miss Julie in Hollywood at 78th Street Theatre Lab; Shangri La, and Karaoke Night at the Suicide Shack at Queens Theatre;Death by Design at Houston Family Arts Center. Death by Design, Rebel Voices, and Shangri La will be published by Samuel French in 2013. Rob has directed at Public Theatre, Classic Stage Company, Culture Project, York Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, Pearl Theatre, Abingdon Theatre, New York Music Theatre Festival, New Jersey Repertory Company, and theaters across the country. Rob is a member of SDC and The Dramatists Guild, an alumnus of the Drama League, and Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and Director of New Play Development at Queens Theatre.

Will Pomerantz directed Prospect Theater's Company's acclaimed production of Cole Porter's NYMPH ERRANT. He has directed and developed new musicals and plays for such theaters as The Guthrie, American Repertory Theatre, 2nd Stage, Playwrights Horizons, The Public Theatre, Hartford Stage, New York Theater Workshop, The Signature Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theater, Culture Project, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Studio Theatre, and The Mark Taper Forum.  He has directed world premieres by such playwrights as John Guare, David Auburn, Neil LaBute, Craig Lucas, Kia Corthron, David Lindsay-Abaire, Stephen Belber, Noah Haidle, Linda Cho and Kira Obolensky.  He has directed and developed new musicals for NYMF, NAMT and Paulette Haupt's PREMIERES. His production of the musical The Blue Flower, which originally premiered at Prospect Theater Company, swept all the major awards in the Boston Area, winning both the Elliot Norton and the Independent Reviewers of New England (I.R.N.E.) Awards for Outstanding Production, Outstanding Design, and Best Musical of the Year.

The Prospect Theater Company has also announced their upcoming season.

A concert presentation of The Rockae, a hard rock concert based on Euripides' The Bacchae featuring music and lyrics by Peter Mills and a book by Mills and Cara Reichel, kicked off Prospect Theater Company's 2012 – 2013 season on October 7 at Le Poisson Rouge. Rock of AgesMitch Jarvisand Hairspray's Michael Cunio were among the cast.

A newly-revised production of Working – A Musical began performances on December 1, 2012 at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street, NYC). Six actors embody thirty-six everyday Americans in this tuneful musical exploring the concept of working. Adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso from the book by Studs Terkel, with additional contributions by Gordon GreenbergWorking features songs by Craig CarneliaMicki Grant, Mary Rodgers and Susan Birkenhead, Stephen Schwartz and James Taylor, plus two brand-new songs by Tony Award-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights). The production is directed by Greenberg, with choreography by Josh Rhodes and new orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire.

Death For Five Voices, a world premiere original musical drama from Prospect Theater Company founding artists Peter Mills and Cara Reichel, will be presented at the West End Theatre (263 West 86th St., NYC) in March 2013. Based on true events in the life of the brilliant and infamous Renaissance composer and murderer Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa, Death For Five Voices is a compelling and psychologically complex new work with a score that explores the darker realms of desire and inspiration.

Unlock'd, the "Best of Fest" winner at the 2007 New York Musical Theatre Festival, will be presented in Summer 2013 at a venue to be announced. Classical meets pop in this spoof of 18th century romance with music by Derek Gregor and book and lyrics by Sam Carner. Based on Alexander Pope's tempest-in-a-teapot tale of squabbling lovers and the mischievous spirits who surround them, gnomes skulk, tresses sing, and playing cards do battle in this delightfully inventive musical comedy as both the bright and the beautiful, the geek and the gorgeous, frolic through the tangled gardens of Love.

Prospect Theater Company is one of America's leading producers of new musical theater. Since 2000, the company has fully produced 18 new musicals in New York City, in addition to mounting productions of new plays and classic works, and supporting other developmental opportunities for emerging musical theater writers.  Prospect was founded in 1998 by five graduates of Princeton University in order to allow a diverse group of emerging theater professionals to work together in pursuit of artistic excellence and innovation.  The company remains the home of founding member Peter Mills, critically-acclaimed composer / lyricist who has been honored for his work with the prestigious Cole Porter Award (2011), Kleban Prize for Lyrics (2010), and the Fred Ebb Award (2007), among others.  The company membership now includes a network of almost 1,000 affiliated artists.  Notable productions include:  Iron Curtain (2006, 2011), With Glee (2010), The Blue Flower (2008), Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge (2009), The Hidden Sky (2010),Illyria (2002, 2008), and the Drama-Desk nominated The Pursuit of Persephone (2005).

The reading will take place on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 2:15pm at 59e59, located at 59 East 59th Street, NYC.  The reading was previously scheduled for November 5 but was rescheduled due to Hurricane Sandy.

Admission is free, by invitation only. For more information, email

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